Radio Robida



on: 10/04/2024
by: Franca Lucchitta


Here is a sign, a trace, a mark, a line, a dot, a leftover, an image, a small thing, an anecdote told by someone, an encounter, a moment, a word, a note, a dog-eared page, a feeling, a question. Here is and will be a collection of lines, of stories, of passing of things.




At first there was an image found in a book I read a few years ago about multiple climbing trips to Sardinia that I decided to share with some friends. “Rocca dei Banditi, Mauro Soregaroli opening the route Black Hole, December 1988” – the caption was saying. It soon ended up in a phone call with Alessandro Gogna, one of the people who did the second repetition of the route, and also author of the book “La Pietra dei Sogni”. Immediately after talking with him, on our way to the ferry we got an email saying – “auguri” – and attached a document with details about the route. We weren't sure if the “auguri” was for the new year coming, for the climb or maybe for both. 

We kept this route in mind for the whole trip, not sure if in the end we would manage to climb it. In the evening before the departure to “get back to the continent” – as Sardinian would say – we were in the very south west part of the island and we had just climbed with Alessio and Emilia on beautiful red rock towers at the sunset in Capo Pecora. While having dinner we all separately started to think where we could spend the night and what we could do the day after. Both me and Teo were looking at maps on our phones and then we suddenly stopped and looked at each other. Padru was on our way to the ferry, just three hours away from where we were at the moment and 45 minutes from where we were departing. We immediately agreed on driving till Padru after dinner and to try our ascent of Black Hole on our last day on the island.

As the description was mentioning we drove close to an Agriturismo and then continued on the gravel road till it was possible. When it became too full of holes, rocks and roots we parked close to a corbezzolo plant. From there, we continued walking and we slowly lost the path. For an hour or so we walked in between the dense, very dense vegetation (macchia mediterranea) which at some points was forcing us to step back, to crawl or to jump on rocks in order to see a bit further and find a possible direction. After the first half an hour we figured out we were a bit trapped and the only thing to do was to continue pushing branches to the right and to the left to open a bit of space and pass in between the plants. “Portarsi un macete” – we remembered the guide was suggesting a machete as part of the necessary equipment and at this point we definitely understood why. 

Only when very close to the wall, we found a path that led us to the beginning of the route. After a short rain we started to climb on this beautiful rock formation carved by the wind. Teo continued climbing till the eighty metres rope was finished and at that point I started to climb and reached him at the end of the first pitch: a long long diagonal chimney that ended up on a traverse to the left. Close to us, around a rock formation, we saw the rope that probably has been used during the first ascent which by now was covered in lichens and camouflaging with the wall. 
After a short and thorny passage stepping on the brambles at the base of the chimney it was possible to climb it and face the section appearing in the image of the book – “The Stone of Desires”.
I was climbing with a backpack which made the passage in these narrow chimneys difficult. Once I arrived at the end of the section I reached him in the cave. It was so special to be outside but at the same time have the feeling of being inside. The holes of the wall seemed like windows to see the landscape around us from this protected space we just entered.

Teo continued climbing up the cave, barely putting any protection because the rock didn't allow it and I followed from another side because the free rope had moved from where he passed. In some shapes and in the way I had to move through narrow passages, the mountain reminded me of when a few years ago I did the speleology course. 
When we reached the upper part of the cave and we were ready to climb out of it, we started to have a hard time finding the way. Teo went up and was walking around while I could hear but not see him. It was so hard to understand where he was, somehow climbing above me cause he was suddenly out of the cave. We had another look at the document. Teo tried to go in many different directions but none of the solutions seemed really a possibility to continue. In our mind there was also the ferry we were supposed to take in a few hours which was adding some tension to the situation. A bit disappointed we decided to start our descent into the holes of the cave – which was at the same time quite exciting – and in a few double-ropes descents we made it to the bottom of the wall and started to follow the trail.

The little path was continuing in between the vegetation and along it was full of corbezzolo plants we started to eat and collect. We somehow reached the car and didn't really understand how on our way to the wall we missed this simple and clean path that was easily leading to Punta dei Banditi.


_At the border

The train where I am sitting is travelling through high mountains covered in a soft white blanket of snow. It is around lunch time and the white surface covering the landscape reflects the strong sunlight. Quickly I get misty eyes. Then little tears. I wonder if it is because of the snow reflecting the light, because of travelling through this suspended landscape or because I am once again crossing a border to get from one place to another, from one identity to another.

The loud speaker of the train announces we are reaching 'Ospizio Bernina', a stop at the border. A language border between an area where Italian is the main language and another area where Rumantsch and German are mainly spoken.

I often find myself at the border. At the border between Italy and Slovenia. At the border between Italy and Switzerland. Once I spent a month at the border between Switzerland, Austria and Lichtenstein. I am often at the border between Italy and The Netherlands – a fictional border that, even if it is not visible on any existing map, I quite often experience to cross. A line between the lowlands and the highlands. A space of transition, where I reflect about what just happened and 'the' not yet.


_La coperta del tavolo

When T moved into a new apartment in the valley, the owner noticed there was no tablecloth for the table in the kitchen. A few hours later she came back and brought him – la coperta del tavolo – literally the blanket of the table.

Flowers collected during 2023 and kept in-between the pages of books.


_Leaving traces or deciding to leave flowers instead

Fiore (flower) as F, in the end it is also the initial of his name

“Tomorrow I will go to visit F with my friend M, would you like to join?” – At the time I didn’t know who F was and had no idea what to expect from this encounter, but on a foggy winter afternoon with my bicycle and some biscuits in the bag I reached his address. 
In between a ‘forest’ of plants coming from all over the world there is a small fence that leads to a house. F hides there or maybe – escapes – as he would say. In the past he would do it in the mountains, now, because of his age, he can do it less and less out there. He spends time in the greenhouses he slowly built and filled with plants and seeds collected during his expeditions, and dedicates a lot of time taking care of his dear chickens. 

This year we had a coffee sitting around the table in the kitchen. There was sugar in the little white and red ceramic pot, but he put sugar – quanto basta – directly from the white 1kg paper bag and a moment after he walked to the stove to get a tiny pot and added some hot water – per fare un po’ come un americano. He is an elderly man, the hair was covered by the knitted hat he was wearing from which some of his grey curls came out on the backside of the neck. The spoken words were constantly accompanied by many gestures. His hands looked strong, or were strong – as he mentioned – now the left one is a bit delicate, it does not allow him to climb much, just one or two passages in the little gym in the shed in the garden. 
He smiled and told us little episodes of life, but at the same time he doesn’t like to talk much about himself. M knows him well and maybe only because he was there, F told a few more things about when he was younger, with energy and desire to be against, to be free, to do what he-they wanted and to simply explore out there – in the mountains. There was no desire to tell others, no desire to document – se facevi qualcosa, stavi zitto. The guide books would give just a few little details about routes and when out there it would always be a very personal adventure and certainly different from the one other people had there. He didn’t want to leave any trace of himself and still does not – not telling anything to a mountain guide curious about some routes he opened or repeated in his life. If there was a book to sign on top of the route or the mountain he would draw a flower and his companion a boat – he told us while laughting with his cheeky eyes. – And I thought: 'fiore' (flower) as F, in the end it is also the initial of his name.
He insisted on telling us how different it was when they were going out there for their personal desire to explore because all they wanted was that life for themselves and not because they discovered it by looking at how others were living. He moved and explored a lot, or this is what I felt, and probably only his companions of adventures know where and when. M tried many times to convince him to write a book, and in between joking and being serious, the three of us around the squared table mentioned it again and in the end, while laughing, the negative answer came once more. 
Even if F doesn’t want to leave traces, I think by being and encountering us and others he is and will always leave many behind. By telling little episodes of his life he is giving us the opportunity to see and imagine a different way of living that for sure happened in another time but was and still is, for the ones that can know something about it, an escape from the present reality. 

On the left corner of the table there were three books and a pair of glasses, one of them opened “Alla scoperta delle Prealpi Carniche”. He passed it to me and M sitting in front of him and I thought that reading is also a way of escaping. When I am in The Netherlands I do it all the time, reading about the mountains allows me to feel closer to a place, culture and way of feeling that I miss a lot. Little fragments that constantly allow me to see other possibilities. Maybe he had always been reading too, from all the books he suggested to me I would say so, and in doing it he might also found other possibilities for himself in the stories of other people.

We entered the shed and climbed a bit in the small bouldering gym. Then F suddenly opened the door and appeared gently holding the rooster in his arms and caressing him – voleva salutarvi prima di andare a dormire – he wanted to say goodbye before going to sleep. Then they left, till next time. 

Maybe I will start to sign with a flower too, in the end Francesca starts with F as well. And in the end beside the flowers he drew on all those notebooks, there are always many in all his greenhouses – traces of his explorations and therefore of himself.


un pensiero

[1] How to embroder a flower – an image found in the pocket of a pair of pants of my mother, October 2023. [2] Pensiero from Teo, December 2022. [3] Pensiero from Sasha, November 2023.

Last winter I received a beautiful, delicate embrodered cotton handkerchief as – pensiero – a thought. It was of a dear grondmother that passed away. It is so beautiful how this little, light, pretty elements can be kept for years and years in the secret pockets of different people and come out from there to dry tears or dripping noses.

A few days after at my parents place my mother saw my hand slowly reaching the right pocket of my pants to get the flowery handkerchief and as soon as this reached the light and she could see all the little flowers she wondered – Da dove viene quel fazzoletto così bello? Di certo non dalla mia scatola di sopra. – when she heard it was – un pensiero – for days she recommanded me to give 1cent to who gifted it – altrimenti porta lacrime – otherwise it will bring tears.

I think the italian way of calling this little gesture of gifting – pensiero – it is so beautiful. Pensiero means thought and to me it really represent the moment in which I see something and it immediately makes me think of someone. The gifted object becomes symbol of the gesture and probably for the other person will always remind to the special moment of the donation – interconnected thoughts.



[1] The Deep North in Radical Love by Fanny Howe. [2] Apron, November 2023. [3] Walking on la porta del cielo (the door of the sky) in Polimagò, Val di Mello, photgraphed by Teo Giovanni Poggi, August 2023.

“At first it wasn’t clear. No truth. No belongings. The was snow on the trees, rooftops, streets and that grey light you see in old movies set at sea, where ice floes break the boat apart. This to me is the image of knowable. Ropes and stripes, black and white, and what you look at, looks back. If it’s a dream, or if it’s what actually seen, then it comes to the same thing: broken language, foreign syntax, the incomprehensible natura of the world. Anyway I didn’t even want an answer, that’s a fact. All answers are hells. I just wanted to locate the process that underlay the surface image, to put my hand under the top without looking at what let out. Whatever it was, it didn’t belong to me. That is the nature of truth.” Fanny Howe, Radical Love.

Tracing and retracing. Repetition, of thoughts, moments along the year, of routes. I am grateful for paths crossed and people encountered in these past four years, for new doors and especially – la porta del cielo (the door of the sky) – that I came across this summer on Polimagò. This special door which put me in a calm state of mind and of trust of myself I have never felt before that day on the traverse with Teo. – What if I fall?I won't fall. – In that moment I didn't realise where and how I just moved my steps slowly and precisely while listening to my breath and to the small details the rock wall had. Only after days and weeks, when telling my friends about this route – and the dragonfly – I could understand better my feeling and desire to experience all that scarness and concentration and ephoria again and again. Whatever it was, it belong to me.

A text written a few year ago as a contribution to PUB Journal #3: A Pack of Lies, Amsterdam (NL), 2020.

_Path n. 2811*: A walk on a fragile territory

To my dear mountains

Table of Contents

1. In order to follow the signs you need to know the language.

2. One after the other.

3. How long does it take?

4. Slow thoughts, fast thoughts.

5. What is under my feet?

6. Layers on top of layers of: a fragile territory.

7. A landslide. A hundred meters lower from where it moved from.

8. I wondered where the fragments were moved to, what they had become.

9. Residual. Hidden histories.

10. Memories to reassure myself about my solidity.

11. The mountain outside have no fear.

12. Solid as a rock. Stai saldo come una roccia.**

13. As if something had cracked inside me and my experience is leaking out.

14. Put a stone on it. Mettiamoci una pietra sopra.

Afterwords. Working–walking on it.


*A path is a sequence of points in space. The text is written as a sequence of sentences, a list, an index.

** “Through the spectacles of geology, terra firma becomes terra mobilis, and we are forced to reconsider our beliefs of what is solid and what is not. Although we attribute to stone a great power to hold time back, to refuse its claims (cairns, stone tablets, monuments, statuary), this is true only in relation to our own mutability. Looked at in the context of the bigger geological picture, rock is as vulnerable to change as any other substance.” Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind.

Frane di sponda nella Val Settimana. Landslide in the Week Valley. Italy. December 2019.


_Faraway Nearby

While the chestnuts were falling from the trees and we collected them along the path, the landscape around the village was shifting in its colours and atmosphere, slowly becoming more calm and more of warm shades of orange and brown. Even if the memories are still vivid, the time spent in autumn in Topolove seem faraway and it is somehow a little moment in the morning the one of imagining again the view out of the window. 

Faraway – Nearby
“For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of the horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and desire, the color of there seen form here, the color of where you are not.”
Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost


_9000 metri sopra ai prati

I still remember the first time we talked about Val di Mello – “We will go there soon” Teo said. Then I left Italy with a long train journey directed to the lowlands not knowing when it would have happen and spending the time away reading and researching about that Valley and many other ones.
It is somehow still very beautiful to live in two different places, it give the chance to miss and appreciate different aspects of both. When I am in the mountains I love to be in motion, while when I am at ‘baita’ in Amsterdam I really like to spend time researching and reading, it is somehow a way to prepare myself to future explorations.

“Maps give you seven-league boots – allow you to cover miles in seconds. Using the point of a pencil to trace the line of an intended walk or climb, you can soar over crevasses, leap tall cliff-faces at a single bound and effortlessly ford river. On a map the weather is always good, the visibility always perfect. […] A map can never replicate the ground itself. […] Maps do not take account of time, only of space. They do not acknowledge how a landscape is constantly on the move – is constantly revising itself.”
Robert Macfarlene, Mountains of the Mind



I found a pistaria.What is that pisdaria?Look how many pisdarie.Here we will put some pisdarie.I woke up feeling a pisdaria on my left leg.Look, this is such a pisdaria!

I have been hearing Ali saying pisdaria once upon a time and then one afternoon its sound suddenly caught my attention. I started to repeat it, not knowing exactly what it meant. It became a synonym for thing, element, moment, word, feeling – one that is a bit familiar, little, light and simple. Something that, all the time it was repeated, would make us smile. 

In these past months I spent quite some time in Topolove and something very special about the life there is its multilingualism – languages intertwine in a natural way creating many threads of discourse and in the end one big conversation. During a meal around a table it could happen that a sentence is in Slovene, the following one in Italian and the answer in English. In relation to who is present, there can be more or less languages used and contaminations between these. I find very fascinating and beautiful how language evolves in groups of people spending time together and how the meaning of a word like pisdaria can be familiar and understood by the specific group that has been together in a certain moment in time-space. 

*I read some parts of Natalia Ginzburg, Lessico Familiare everytime I come back to the north east of Italy. I wonder if it is because I never put it back to the bookshelf and always find it on the comodino next to the bed at my parents place, because it cuddles me in a cozy feeling of nostalgia, or because I just like to read through it again and again.


_“Aria sognante”

On the vetrine on the left of the entrance door there is a very coloured drawing made in pencils of two figures. One has dark hair, a pair of striped yellow and blue pants and some pink shoes; the other one has very long blond hair, a skirt and some pink shoes too. All around them gray textured shapes – rocks.
Blaso found the drawing on the floor in front of the door the day after he brought Memi, a child of six years old, to climb.
While going to Blaso's place I met her walking around the village and so I asked how did her first climbing experience go. She was very excited about it and after asking me ”dove stai andando?”“where are you going?” – she came with me to visit Blaso. As soon as we reached the door and he came out she started to talk about climbing and how next time she wishes to go with the skirt.

I immediately thought about “Le Sorelle Grassi” (Grassi sisters) – three strong alpinists that between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th Century defied prejudices and conventions in the name of their passion for the mountains. In those years Angelina, Giacoma and Anna Grassi, were some of the only women that were going to the mountains for pure pleasure and for this they had also been criticised and envied. Their desire to climb was fulled also by the self-assertion of female mountaineers in a world dominated by men and maybe this was enriching their mental strength and allowing them to resist through fog, a night bivouac, hail, thirst in the long ascent of Mount Canin in 1899 guided by the geographer Marinelli.

“[...] Le lunghe sottane della quali si impigliavano nei rocciosi sporgenti e meno male era quando uno strappo più forte del consueto le lacerava, seminandone i lembi qua e là." – "The long skirts became entangled in the rocky overhangs, and less bad it was when a stronger tear than usual tore them, scattering the flaps here and there.” Says Marinelli in a letter to a mysterious I.P. friend. – leaving traces of their passage up on the mountains. Other signs about their ascents are possible to find on the diary-books that is possible to sign on top of most peaks, as in the one of Mt. Antelao wrote in 1880.

"Aria sognante" (dreamy gaze) – says one of the captions of a photograph that accompanies the text of an article in the magazine Le Alpi Venete, spring-summer 2018 – maybe towards new ascents. After every adventure a new one attracts the attention and the desire to continue exploring keeps being vivid – I feel this myself and I am glad the perception and prejudices of womxn exploring has and is still shifting. I am grateful I can be in the mountains for personal desire and pleasure. I often think I would like the passion for studying culture related to this environment and actively exploring it to become more part of my work. Maybe with living, maybe with writing, maybe with publishing – dreamy gaze.



For four years now I have been travelling around Europe by train. I started during a difficult time at the end of 2019, when during an afternoon where I was supposed to book my flights to go back to Friuli Venezia Giulia for the end-beginning of the year, I had the idea to check if it was possible to return by train. I somehow desired to travel with interrail for a long time and never really found companions for it. In that moment, even if my family was responding quite skeptical about my plans, I guess I found the courage to get on the train on my own and I was quite excited about it. I still remember the goosebumps during the trip and how I had to run to catch the last connection in Munich – a night train that in the early morning brought me to my hometown with the daylight creating her space in the dark sky.
On the way back to the lowlands I travelled to the middle of north Italy and then through the lakes and mountains of Switzerland. From there, the landscape slowly changed: all the rocks and high view became linear with a wide horizon. The way of looking outside shifted from wandering up to looking far away searching for elements to catch the gaze.

Since that time I only moved with long train journeys, it helps me process where I am going, what just happened and what is going to happen. I love to sleep on the train and wake up with a complete different view surrounding me and all the time I am so joyful of how they make me improvise encounters, visits and shifts of plans – meet friends for breakfast, lunch, a beer or a cappuccino and then continue to other destinations. Often the journeys are a moment to read, write and plan. They are a melancholic time during which I realise how much I will miss certain people, situations and ways of feeling and I wonder when it will be the next time I will be able to feel and live all this and more.

One of the last time I took a flight I was writing my master thesis "Alternating Layers of Ashes and Limestones: eroded, carved and scattered" – a combination of past and present documents, scientific knowledge with popular mythologies, landscape modified by weathering and by human kind. It is a geological, cultural and historical stratification and shows a parallel world suspended between experience, desire and imagination. The space analyzed and explored is the mountain area (natural alpine area) in the Province of Pordenone, Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, north-east of Italy. It is an area close to my own town Pordenone, where I have been since I was young, first with my parents, then with friends.
I remember thinking and writing: “On my flights back to Italy, I used to wait to pass over the Alps. The plane would offer a completely different point of view of a reality I had seen so closely. In the beginning it was spectacular, but after a while I started to refuse this image; it showed this mountain range as beautiful and untouched, perfect even; slowly created an illusion.”

Still in-between: ”In an attempt to find the connection with a distant place, I used my time in The Netherlands to study and expand my knowledge of places I’ve visited in the mountain, to organise the explorations I would do next time I go back there. I understood that a landscape became stunning when I knew what I was looking at, when I experienced it with the fog, the wind or the rain which created a completely different atmosphere from the ‘usual’ sunny days. Living between two different countries allowed me to build a relation with the mountain environment and to appreciate it differently and more deeply once I was back. Even if only for temporary moments I immersed myself in the mountain landscape, I consider nature as a way to live and share experiences with others and as a possibility to build a common memory.”

in-between rocks
“I wish that those who take me for granite would once in a while treat me like mud.”
”I have been changed” – “You change me. Do not take me for granite.”

Ursula K. Le Guin, Being Taken for Granite


How many repetitions are enough to maintain a path?

How many repetitions are enough to maintain the path?
[1] The offering of a flower, Vallorcine, July 2023. [2] Maps and carpets, Champery, August 2023.


_Places and identity, identity and places

p.20 – “Always you will be asked for your story: after (the accent twigged) ‘Where are you from?’ comes ‘And what brings you here?’ – because, so the thinking goes, this story defines the individual, for better or for worse. You are the embodiment of your story and if people don't know the beginning or middle, how can they predict the end? May you stay? Must you go? You will probably have a long version and a short version and both will, over time, be well rehearsed.”

I am a different version of myself in Italy to the one I am in The Netherlands. When I move between countries or cultures I sometimes imagine it as a process of splitting. Theres some behaviours, ways of saying, ways of organising time and moving around that are so different that they make it feel I need to be a different version. Sometimes I am much calmer, sometimes I have so much energy that it is difficult to direct it. In some situations I can be very shy and silent and in other open to encounters and conversations. In both places I can feel nostalgic about something on the other side – a romantic view to where I am no longer. “Nostalgia, she says, can prevent you ever truly ‘arriving and unpacking’ anywhere else. But you can't go back either. 'Nostalgia' joints together the Greek words ‘nòstos’ and ‘àlgos’, ‘homecoming’ and ‘pain’. It's painful because you intuit the return is impossible. You need to find a way of ‘mediating’, my friend says, of 'reconciling' the different aspects of yourself.”

I wonder if taking into consideration the context have to push you to re-considering so much of 'a different way' of living and relating-with-the-other.

And, in the end, I wonder 'Where am I from?'.





The brambles are full of blackberries. Some ripe and dark blue-violet to be picked up, others still sour and tending to red colour. It is nice to collect them slowly, some for everyday, until the last ones are ripe. 
We walked down and slowly filled our hands with these bubbly sweet berries, then Vida curved up the bottom edge of her shirt and we all started to put them in this soft container. Along the path we found some little lilac flowers too – tasting fresh like mint. We picked some, put them together with the blackberries and carried everything up at home for dinner with the others. 

Some time ago while walking down the terraces of Topolò, I found the hood of my jacket filled with flowers and leaves from the forest. Kim and many others delicately put elements encountered along the path. I discovered it was filled with all these traces only once it started to rain and I had to wear the hood. I moved everyting into my pockets and carried it with me.

Another time, when living in Switzerland, during one of my daily walks in Appenzeller I suddenly encountered a bakery still using a wood oven to cook bread. The bakery was a little space filled with delicious pastries, breads and a few other local products. Lucky enough I had some Swiss francs in my pocket and after buying some bread I put it in my hood and carried it till St.Anton. Then the hood was empty again to be used in the coming days during other walks to carry books or some grocery from Oberegg, Trogen or Heiden up to St.Anton.

Clothes carry traces of experiences, some permanent marks, some little cuts, some temporary stains. I have a certain fascination for the care that most of the time I have towards these garments, trying to fix them, to clean them, to make them look as ‘at the beginning’ – when I got them, to keep them in time. Other times I find myself happily surprised to be reminded of certain moments and stories by these traces on the fabric around me.


Flowers arrangement.

Even if just for a moment.


_Gestures of Care

Wild garlic leaves were already there, in a big white box in the fridge for days. Dora, Laura and Ola harvested them in the forest, and now they needed some care. I sat in the sun on the muretto – a little wall lower than a meter – in front of me the big white box with leaves, on the side a red colander for the ruined leaves and a white bowl to put the good ones for Elena making pesto in the kitchen. 

I was trying to be fast and to sort out the box before the beginning of the lunch when Riko, a beekeeper from Slovenia, came closer and calmly started a conversation around wild garlic. He eats the leaves in salad, with olive oil, salt and pepper and sometimes he eats the bulbs too after preparing them as pickles.

I went inside for a moment and once back outside I found Riko sitting on the muretto and taking care of the wild garlic leaves. I sat on the ground next to him and for a moment I just silently observed the gestures of his hands delicately taking one or two leaves at a time and carefully opening their curled edges to finally place them in the white bowl. By looking at him my rhythm also changed and my attention and care too.


_pp. 108-109

Les Traces
'Les Traces' from Yona Friedman, L'ordine Complicato: Come costruire un'immagine, Quodlibet, 2011



For movement’s sake the line is free to go where it will and in reading it, the eyes follow the same path as did the hand in drawing it. 

Drawing a line is much like telling a story, the storyline goes along as does the line. The line is a path traced through the terrain of lived experience. To tell a story, Ingold says: “is to relate, in narrative, the occurrences of the past, retracing a path through the world that others, recursively picking up the threads of past lives, can follow in the process of spinning out their own”.

We spent days following lines imagined by someone years ago, maybe many years ago. First traced by the eyes on the rock, then performed with body movements and finally traced by a pen on a map. The drawing allows the line to be repeated, thus, the body gestures to happen over and over, again and again. Every repetition, slowly, in time, creates the story of that line on the rock. Every movement embodies the desire to experience that specific story on the limestone, granite, conglomerate. Once the line finishes, another one attracts the attention. One line follows the other. Lines connected through the landscape. Stories connected through people's experience.

“There is always somewhere further to go. And in storytelling as in wayfaring, it is in the movement from place to place – or from topic to topic – that knowledge is integrated.”

*Tim Ingold, Lines: Up, Across and Along, Routledge, 2007

Series of lines
Series of lines.



When the sunlight touches the surface of the water little sparkles appear – I call them tingles. It somehow makes me smile and feel light. When tingles affect my body, I usually can't calm down, a special enthusiasm takes over everything and makes me feel bubbling.
I love the Italian word to define this phenomena: 'formicolio', from 'formica' (ant); as when I was young and without noticing I sat over an ant hill – multitude in motion – and suddenly my body was covered of these fast little insects.

I experience different types of this little slight prickling sensation. Tingling describes both the quick, very quick movement of elements in space, the strong feeling of an emotion, and the feeling as if a lot of sharp points are being put quickly and lightly into the body.

Tingles for the unknown. Tingles for surprises. Tingles for excitement. Tingles of fear. Pins and needles.

Sometimes I take a moment to observe the splendid sparkles flowing on the surface of the water creating an over-shifting brilliant pattern. Somehow standing in a point and observing this spectacle gives me a sense of, at the same time, calm and excitement. Their magic and ephemeral presence is hard to grasp and even when I see them, if I slowly move I notice how the sparkle slowly disappears, but I carry some tingles with me.

I clearly remember when two years ago I started to feel it again. It was the beginning of spring, days were getting longer here in the lowlands and after a slow and introspective period I suddenly started to feel better. The sunlight reflected in the canals of Amsterdam made me smile and a sensation of lightness swept all over me. The months after I just felt constant tingles for the present and the unknown, a lot of energy and desire to explore, share with others and let myself be surprised again. Many other tingling moments followed. Sometimes they are little situations–traces–memories that I like to remember and carry-with-me. Lived moments, that if I think about, I immediately feel some joy.

“How else do most of us experience history if not in the presence or absence of small things?”
Thea Lenarduzzi, Dandelions, Fitzcarraldo, 2020

Series of tingling.
Series of tingling.



Where does this ‘coucou’ come from?

It was the end of a summer day and I was hiking with Elena on the ‘Sentiero delle Portatrici Carniche‘ (the path of the Carnic Barer – women that during the WWI were bringing food to the soldiers at the war front) at the border between Italy and Austria. Our day of walking had started far away at Tolazzi shelter, on the other side of the valley we coudn't see anymore. With a bright soft last ray of light from the sunset illuminating some of the peaks in front of us we left Casera Palgrande di Sopra. The atmosphere all around was getting misty with shades of pink dissolving into lilac, light blue and slowly blue, and our paste was fast, with firm steps, no hesitation and wheezing breath.

While walking up the last mountain side it was getting darker and darker. Once we reached the mountain ridge we were suddenly at the same time looking at two different realities: on one side the far away sunset and ridged upon ridges of mountains appearing in shades of blue (*Rebecca Solnit, The Blue of Distance), on the other side, for a moment, a few seconds, we could barely see the shape of the Avostanis Lake reflecting the last light in the sky. Then everything turned dark, deep dark and we couldn’t see anything anymore. It was only us and the conoidal small shape of light coming from the torches on our heads.

The rhythm of our movements immediately changed – we started to walk slowly and somehow softly. All around us was just deep black – how does deep black look like?
When we saw the little light coming from the shelter close to the lake we impulsively started to scream “coucou” – “coucouuuuu”. In a few seconds, we got a “coucou” back and saw a light coming out of the little building. Goosebumps. After many attempts to find the path, many walking forward and backwards, we could start the descent and reach our friends at Malga Pramosio Alta.